Kolkata, Apr 19 IBNS | 6 months ago

Economist Bibek Debroy and noted writer Radhika Shah recently unveiled their new book, 'Drumbeats to Ringtones - Gujarat's Strategy for Empowering Tribals' which is adorned with beautiful pictures of tribal people, depicting their stories and detailed tables for statistics.

The co-authors take the readers through their experiences of seeing, meeting and talking to tribal people of Gujarat.

The authors identify the positive changes and improvement in the lives of the Scheduled Tribes (STs) and study the reasons behind them.

Moreover, the book elaborates on the initiatives and schemes of the state government for the tribal population and explains in details how a different approach to implementation of such schemes helped immensely.

According to official data, Gujarat accounts for about 8.9 percent of total tribal population in India, only after Madhya Pradesh (14.5 %), Maharashtra (10.2 %) and Odisha (9.7 %).

According to the 2011 Census, Gujarat's tribal population is 8.92 million, which is spread across 12 districts.

In some sections, the authors have adopted an anecdotal style of writing to bring alive tribal stories lucidly.

Another distinct feature is that certain sections of the book are in the words of the tribal people themselves.

In the concluding chapter, the authors evaluated the sustainability of Gujarat government's tribal initiatives and approaches to implementation, which break away from the traditional approaches to tribal poverty.

They examined critically if it was easier for Gujarat to achieve tribal development, only to find that Gujarat government also had its share of tall challenges - overcome through non-conventional approach to tribal issues.

Finally, the authors discussed the possibilities of replicating in other states, what they call, 'The Gujarat Model' for tribal development.

(Posted on 19-04-2014)

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